tv ABC World News Sunday ABC December 5, 2010 6:00pm-6:30pm EST
i'm david muir. tonight on "world news," let's make a deal. it appears the bush era tax cuts will be extended. tonight, the white house, republicans and the behind the scening wheeling and dealing. can we win? george stephanopoulos one on one with general petraeus in afghanistan. did the general really threaten to quit? an abc news exclusive. atm for terrorists? that's the outrage as new documents reveal terrorists are getting their money from inside some of america's closest allies. the deep freeze and snow. even where you least expect it. what millions of american commuters will wake up tomorrow morning. and close call. that moment on the train tracks that takes your breath away, and
the hero. what we're learning about him tonight. good evening. as we go on the air this sunday night, word the white house and top republicans are nearing a deal. no new taxes. it appears those bush era tax cuts will be extended, even for the wealthiest americans. republicans have argued you can't raise taxes on anyone while recovering from this recession, that it would hurt small business owners and jobs. democrats have asked, how do you keep the tax cuts going for the rich with a spiraling deficit. and so many americans unemployed. so, david kerley is at the white house tonight where details are emerging. david, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, david. the president is preparing to break one of his biggest campaign promises. he is poised to extend tax cuts to the richest americans in exchange for helping millions who are jobless. >> senate be in order. >> reporter: tonight, it appears republicans will get all the tax cuts extended. >> i think it's clear now taxes are not going up on anybody in
the middle of this recession. we're discussing how long we should maintain current tax rates. >> reporter: for democrats, making this deal, giving in on taxes to get unemployment benefits extended, is a tough pill to swallow. >> we're moving in that direction. and we're only moving there against my judgment and my own particular view of things. >> reporter: democrats tried to extend the tax cuts only to the middle class -- >> they're demanding that the wealthiest americans get a tax cut that is 1,000 times the size of the average american. >> reporter: but the effort -- >> no. >> reporter: failed twice in the senate. so, the president promised compromise. >> we need to redouble our efforts to resolve this impasse in the next few days. >> reporter: here's what's at stake without action. someone making $62,000 a year could see their taxes go up $2,200, starting next month. but extending all the cuts means someone making $10 million a year will keep $450,000 of their
income that would have gone to uncle sam. it is a costly deal in a time of worry about the deficit. none of the cuts is paid for. in fact, keeping taxes at this level over the next ten years could add $4 trillion to the national debt. sources tell me that a deal could be set in the next couple of days, and the white house would like to move this along fairly quickly because republicans continue to say they will do nothing else in the lame duck session until this tax issue is finished. david? >> david kerley starting us off tonight. let's turn to rick klein, who is following every step of this. and we were talking about all of the political theater this weekend. democrats fighting for tax cuts only for the middle class. something they knew wouldn't get anywhere, but listen to democratic senator mccaskill with this directed at the tea party. >> they need to pull back the curtain and realize that you've got a republican party that's not worried about the people in the tea party. they're worried about people that can't decide which home to
go to over the christmas holidays. >> clearly some democrats very frustrated about this. so, who won, who lost here? >> reporter: this is a significant win for republicans, david. president obama has been clear this was a critical position and he's caving on it, allowing all the tax cuts to be extended. he wanted hem to expire. so, this round goes to republicans who wanted them across the board extended. >> but the white house will argue they had to do this to extend unemployment benefits. >> reporter: that's right. the white house views this as the last best chance to get priorities passed. but the flip side is, this is happening while democrats still control congress. the view of many in the left is, if the president has to move this far right, it's going to be much farther next month. >> and this comes after voters seemed so concerned about the deficit and yet we're hearing now about tax cuts and more spending for the benefits. >> reporter: all this talk in washington about deficit and debt and everything that congress is set to do is going to make those problems even
worse. the problem is, these are the easy things. you spend more money, you cut taxes, that means less revenue is coming in. all of those things blow bigger holes in the budget deficit. >> rick, thank you. and there is another huge batch of damaging documents from wikileaks tonight. in them, we learned that nine years after 9/11, the funding for terrorists may be stronger than ever. and the money could be coming from inside some of the very countries the u.s. considered some of our strongest allies. in fact, one paper calling those allies atms for terrorists. jim sciutto is in london. >> reporter: despite years of reassurances by u.s. officials that terror financing had been significantly blocked, these secret dock yums reveal some of america's closest allies still letting the money flu to groups dedicated to doing america harm. from al qaeda to the taliban. a cable directly from secretary of state hillary clinton calls donors in saudi arabia the most significant source of funding to sunni terrorist groups worldwide.
other gulf nations get even harsher assessments. kuwait, a key trans it point. the uae, vulnerable to abuse by terrorist financers. and katar, hesitant to take on known terrorists. >> it concerns us. it's a big problem. and we're trying to push them the best we can. but it is like, sort of, pushing a very big rock up a very steep hill. >> reporter: newly released cables take aim at china, as well. describing its leaders as obsessed with the threat from the internet, while excited by opportunities it offers to steal secrets, especially from u.s. government agencies and corporations. today, wikileaks is battling for its own survival. paypal cut off its accounts, explaining it encouraged illegal activity. this follows amazon refusing access to its servers. julian assange considers the moves part of a coordinated effort by the u.s. government to shut it down, drawing attention
to comments like this one today. >> and he's engaged in terrorism. he should be treated as an enemy combatant. wikileaks should be closed down permanently. >> reporter: to defend itself, assange is advertising a doomsday plan of sorts, circulating across the internet a giant new cache of documents on everybody from bp to bank of america to guantanamo bay. those files are encrypted with an unbreakable 256-digit password. wikileaks says if it is shut down, they will release that password to the world, allowing everyone to read all the documents. david, they are calling it their insurance policy. >> jim, while we have you, what about word that the u.s. is now telling some government employees that they're not allowed to read these cables and documents dumped online. seems like everyone in the world can, so why not the government employees? >> reporter: well, they are being reminded that classified material remains classified. they're not barred from reading news accounts of the documents,
but from reading or downloading the originals, but it's hard to imagine what difference that will make when you and i and anyone else with a computer and internet can read and copy all of the documents, david. >> puzzling to hear. jim, as you know, some of the most controversial revelations in the documents have been about afghanistan. and outrageous charges of government corruption. so, tonight, george stephanopoulos, one-on-one with general petraeus in afghanistan, asking about that corruption and about word that general petraeus had threatened to quit. tonight, george launches of special series, afghanistan, can we win? >> reporter: david, this was general petraeus' first interview since the release of those wikileaks documents and he brushed off a report that an official left afghanistan with $52 million in cash. he was much more expansive on corruption, including that leaked cable from karl eikenberry who said it's hard to fight corruption in afghanistan, because so many of the key
government officials are corrupt. that is the key dilemma, isn't it? >> well, there's no question that corruption has been, for, however long this country has probably been in existence, been part of the, literally, the culture. and again, you're not going to turn afghanistan into switzerland in a decade or less. >> reporter: but can the afghan people support the government as they must for this to succeed if they believe it is corrupt? >> it is key to earn legitimacy in the eyes of people that government, wherever it may be, including here in afghanistan, be seen to be inclusive of the population, to be seen to be sufficiently transparent and have sufficient, again, in the cultural context of that country, integrity, to gain, again, the support of the people. >> reporter: general petraeus gave a vote of confidence to the embattled after began president, hamid karzai, despite reports that depray yus recently threatened to resign after karzai criticized his military
tactics in an interview with "the washington post." is that true? >> no, it's not. in fact, what took place is, we read the interview, contacted his closest advisers -- >> reporter: you were very prized by it? >> it was. and when i sat down with him a couple of days later, he said, what's the big deal? i've raised these issues repeatedly. >> reporter: but you needed to be reassured. >> i did. and i was. that was important. in fact, i would, people say, well, how is your relationship with president karzai, and my response is that it is a good relationship. and we do need occasionally, i think, to walk a mile or a kilometer in his shoes, and in these mountains, to understand the challenge that he has. >> reporter: and david, we'll get into a lot more of the challenges general petraeus faced tomorrow on "gma"gma." >> all right, george, thank you. and our series, afghanistan, can we win, does continue first thing in the morning on "good
morning america" with a brand new poll and revealing findings. and then, right here tomorrow night on "world news" with diane sawyer. in the meantime, we turn to iran, where tonight, that country is delivering defiant words on the eve of international talks about its nuclear program. iran's nuclear chief announced that its country produced its first batch of uranium ore. western officials say iran is exaggerating the achievement to show strengths going into the talks. meanwhile, in israel tonight, firefighters from all over the world finally have control of that huge wild fire there. a giant american boeing 747 joined the fight, dumping 20,000 gral lons of water. the fire has killed 41 people and has destroyed one of the country's few forests. back in this country tonight, a very chilly commute if millions of americans tomorrow morning. look at this tonight. the cold front slicing the country in half, reaching deep into the south. the coldest temperatures there
in the darkest of blue. steve osunsami coverers the south. >> reporter: blame canada. their cold air has dipped so far south they're feeling it in florida. >> going to get colder and colder here. >> reporter: the low temperatures here in atlanta tonight will drop into the 20s. >> i have on a sweatshirt, a turtle neck, two shirts under that. >> reporter: you guys cold? >> not at all. >> i am. >> reporter: you're freezing. >> part of an overall pattern that will be very cold for the next not only several days but perhaps the next two to three weeks. >> reporter: across the great lakes this week, the freezing wind could churn up two to three feet of lake effect snow over parts of the mild west. in chicago, the snow has already delayed or grounded more than 300 flights. in buffalo, they can't catch a break. last week, 15 inches of snow smothered the city and trapped hundreds of desperate drivers in snow drifts on internate 90. today, the city is still digging out, and there's snow in the forecast all week long.
across the country, there's plenty of cold and snow. since friday, lexington, kentucky, has seen two inches. in minneapolis, more than six inches. and even in the south, there was a light dusting that frightened residents in raleigh. >> we're from the northeast. it kind of reminds us of home. >> reporter: forecasters say much of the east coast could certainly see a white christmas. and a cold one, too. steve osunsami, abc news, atlanta. >> at least the kids are smiling. across the country in california today, tiger woods smiling. he's battling what was a difficult year. he went into the chevron challenge with a four-stroke lead. he's been undergoing a makeover, giving friendlier interviews and even joining twitter. he is still in tight competition. and when we come back here on "world news" this sunday night the unseen holiday hazard in so many new toys. and the new warning for parents
tonight. it could be right on the floor of your home. the moment on that train track that has so many people gasping this weekend. and tonight, what we've learned about the hero who jumps in to save that man. and then, the tiny football team drawing one very gigantic crowd. you see it growing there. incredible football highlights that you haven't seen yet anywhere. [ female announcer ] you won't believe your eyes. you won't believe your taste buds. you won't believe it's fiber.
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we have a new warning tonight about an unseen hazard to young children, particularly when the holidays come. so many new toys run on those tiny batteries and the danger when those batteries fall out is far greater than meets the eye. here's sharyn alfonsi. >> reporter: hazel donovan was a happy, healthy 9 month old when she developed cold symptoms that just wouldn't go away. >> they said, it's probably crew. but it never got better. we brought her to the emergency room. they said, go home, it's just going to take time for it to go away. >> reporter: but it didn't go away. later that night at home, hazel stopped breathing. her mother took her back to the er. >> they did an x-ray and saw what they thought was a nickel in herses of gas. >> reporter: doctors exam millioned the x-ray prr closely and realized it wasn't a nickel, but a battery. >> the corrosive nature can begin to cause problems in the tissue within two to two and a half hours. >> reporter: they're in common, every day objects all around
you. simple, round, so-called button bat rips made of lithium. when they're accidentally ingested by a young child, they can be deadly. when the lithium battery becomes lodged in the body, it gives off an electrical current which reacts with surrounding issue, producing a strong acid, similar to a household drain opener. >> it can cause a hole into the trachea and in children where this has happened they can lose a lot of blood and potentially die. >> reporter: about 3500 cases of button cell battery ingegs are reported annually to poison control centers. 13 children have died. some children lose their voice, others require feeding tubes. manufacturers are working on making compartments that hold button batteries more concerned. hazel probably found the battery when it fell out of the family's remote control. and though she still has some difficulty swallowing from damage and may need surgery, she is once again thriving. >> she's a really tough kid.
it never would have occurred to us that that amount of damage could be caused by something so xhen. >> reporter: and the donovans say they want to see more secure packaging of the batteries. and they say as kids start tearing through the holiday season and the wrapping paper gets flying, you need to get down on the floor at the child's level and check just to make sure the batteries haven't fallen out. >> i'm curious, how do you know if your child has swallowed one because the symptoms are that of the common cold which so many people have this time of year. >> reporter: they say, look, trust your instincts. but really, the only wake you can know for sure is with an x-ray. so, if you think they may have done that, get the x-ray done then. >> thanks, great advice. coming up next, a remarkable near miss on the train tracks.
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tracks, you see him picking the person across there. just in the nick of time. the rescuer, we now learned, was an offduty policeman, and get this, he was just two months out of the academy. two months, putting himself to work. and president and mrs. obama played host at a reception for this year's recipients of the kennedy center honors. oprah winfrey and paul mccartney are being honored. country start meryl haggard, jerry herman and choreography bill t. jones are the others. a star-studded gala will complete the tribute. when we come back here on "world news" this evening, one sports highlight you don't want to miss. desperate for nighttime heartburn relief? for many, nexium helps relieve heartburn symptoms caused by acid reflux disease. and for the majority of patients with prescription coverage for nexium, it can cost $30 or less per month. headache, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are possible side effects of nexium. other serious stomach conditions may still exist. ask your doctor if nexium can help relieve your heartburn symptoms.
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texas struggling to hold onto people and to jobs have found a unique way to preserve one tradition. >> i heard once that texas people go to worship twice. once and sunday morning, once on friday night. >> reporter: it is homecoming friday in petersburg. pride will only get you so far, especially when you have just 78 students. >> be very violent. put your face mask through their chest to their spine. >> reporter: the coach knows tough talk will not fill up these stands. but for the last five seasons, the buffaloes have done it by shrinking the game of football. it's called six-man. it's a shorter game, four ten-minute quarters, on a shorter field. the 40 yardline is now midfield. the most noticeable difference? only six players. traditional football has 11. petersburg used to have enough players for a full team.
they used to win state championships. their last was all the way back in 1963. >> last play on three. >> reporter: for this school to be standing at all takes a lot of work. the coach is also the principal. football players pick up instruments at halftime so they can have a band. fans are impressed. >> this is like a can-do area. we'll get it done. >> reporter: petersburg won their homecoming game. not just for the team, but for the town. that's lost so much over the years, but wasn't ready to lose its friday nights. ryan owens, abc news, petersburg, texas. >> you got to love it when the quarterback also plays percussion. we are pulling for petersburg. that is the broadcast this sunday night. thanks for being here. i'm david muir. diane sawyer is back tomorrow.